Since 1999, the percentage of antibiotics prescribed nationwide dropped by 17 percent.
Some parts of the country have struggled with high antibiotic use, but Oregon is not one of them. The other four states with the lowest rates are California, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.
This is a good thing. Unnecessary use makes antibiotics less effective in fighting off infections.
Lane County Health and Human Services managers say our numbers are largely due to state and federal programs that they’ve implemented to educate physicians and local hospitals about proper use of antibiotics.
“It’s encouraging and it’s good news. Things can always change, as those resistant bugs make their way to our part of the country, that’s something we’re gonna have to deal with too,” said Jason Davis, Health and Human Services spokesman.
Here are some tips to keep Oregonians at that low rate: Experts say get vaccinated, especially for the flu; be diligent about washing your hands; don’t ask for antibiotics when you don’t need them; and, take them only as prescribed.
The states with the highest antibiotic use–some double the usage as some of those west coast states–were Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.